No Frills Phones and Service Plans
If you still cling to a humble flip phone with no Internet access, touchscreen, or apps, you are not alone. According to Forrester Research, 29% of Internet-using Americans do not use smartphones as their main phones. If you're looking for a no-frills phone, or an inexpensive mobile calling plan, here's my roundup of some of the best deals available...
Thanks, But No Smartphone For Me
Earlier this year, Business Insider profiled “12 wildly successful people who still use flip phones” , including actress Kate Beckinsale and Baltimore Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
A significant number of youngsters prefer the simplicity of “just talk and text,” too; 15% of 18-24 year-olds and 13% of 25-34 year-olds, according to Forrester. “Personally I’m too scattered and unfocused to handle email and Facebook on my phone,” 26 year-old Angelica Baker told Time magazine.
Others are sold on the ruggedness of old-school phones. Sam Hertz, another 20-something, said of his 5 year-old Samsung flip phone, “It has lived through torrential rainstorms, and I’m pretty sure that I’ve dropped it three stories from a stairwell.”
A host of no-frills, budget-minded phones and service plans are available. Basic flip phones like the Motorola C139 with prepaid Tracfone service go for less than $25 on Amazon. It has a tiny, low-resolution color display and it does just talk and text, with basic apps like a calculator and calendar built in. The $42.90 Alcatel Big Easy Flip phone includes a 2 Mpixel camera, Bluetooth capability, and an MP3 player; another $94.99 gets you a year’s worth of Tracfone service with 400 minutes per month.
How about a $9.99 refurbished AT&T Z222 GoPhone? The cheapest GoPhone prepaid service plan is $30/month (plus fees and taxes). You get unlimited talk and text in the U. S., and unlimited texting to Canada, Mexico, and over 100 other countries. Data is pretty expensive at $5 per 100 MB.
Verizon’s “Basic Phones” lineup starts at $49.99 for the LG Revere 3 flip phone. For $35/month, you can get prepaid unlimited talk and text in the U. S., Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico, plus 500 MB of data.
Even better bargains can be found among the scores of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), the less-famous companies that have no nationwide infrastructure of their own. Instead, they buy service from the big carriers at wholesale prices, then resell plans to consumers. Consumer Cellular seems to be one of the most popular ones, offering plans starting at $10/month with free activation.
Prepaid Phone News is an excellent resource for up-to-date information about mobile phone plans from other MVNOs such as Republic WIreless, Straight Talk, Cricket Wireless, Net10, Virgin Mobile, AirVoice, Boost, Lyca Mobile, and many others.
Totally free phones and limited free talk-and-text service are available for people who qualify for Medicaid or SNAP (food stamps). The federal government subsidizes basic mobile phone service through the Lifeline program. Vendors such as Assurance Wireless offer 250 free monthly minutes, and for about $5 more customers can get 500 minutes of talk plus unlimited texting in the USA.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 23 Oct 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- No Frills Phones and Service Plans (Posted: 23 Oct 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved